5 Ways to Keep Your Hips Healthy and Avoid Injury
When hip pain strikes, it can have a massive impact on your everyday life, making it uncomfortable to perform actions as commonplace as crossing a room or climbing a set of stairs. Hip pain becomes increasingly common with age and overuse as cartilage in the joint becomes worn down, creating friction. However, this does not mean that nothing can be done to prevent it. Many of the measures used in treating existing injuries can be applied early to keep your hips healthy and potentially prevent injury from ever occurring.
We’ve compiled a list of five simple and effective lifestyle tips that will help you look after your hips.
- Look After Your Bones
Fractures are one of the most common causes of hip pain. Strong bones are less susceptible to breaks, so a healthy diet which builds their strength should be your first line of defense. Try to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, and dark green vegetables, (like okra and broccoli). Vitamin D is another essential nutrient to nurture your bones, and you can get it from foods like eggs and fatty fish (such as salmon), or by taking supplements.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Osteoarthritis, the primary cause of hip pain, is linked to obesity. When your body has to support excess weight, your bones and joint cartilage experience increased wear and tear. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your bones, and gives you more energy to enjoy life.
- Exercise Regularly, and Properly
Exercise not only helps you to maintain a healthy weight, it strengthens your muscles, making injury less likely. Focus on weight-bearing exercises in particular to build strength in your hips—jogging, stair climbing, and lifting weights are good for this.
Exercise can present its own problems for the hips if overdone, or done incorrectly. To avoid injury, remember to always stretch and warm up before you exercise, and cool down afterwards. Try not to run on hard surfaces like concrete where possible, as this can be rough on the hips, knees, and feet—if you are running on a hard surface, wear running shoes with more cushioning to save muscle effort on impact.
- Reduce Alcohol and Tobacco Intake
Alcohol and tobacco can be severely detrimental to your health. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are both linked to osteoporosis, which causes your bones to become brittle and fragile. It’s no secret that people who drink heavily are also more likely to fall down, further increasing the risk of fractures. To avoid problems in later life, quit smoking now, and avoid exceeding the recommended limits for alcohol consumption.
- Learn About Fall Prevention
As you grow older, your sense of balance can deteriorate, leaving you more prone to falls. Certain medications also carry side effects such as dizziness and vertigo. If you believe you are at risk of a fall, speak to your doctor to learn more about how to prevent falls and avoid injury.
If you suffer from hip pain and would like to learn about your treatment options, contact us today.